Algeria’s trade surplus in the first nine months of 2014 has fallen by 18.2% to $5.4bn, from $6.6bn in the corresponding period of 2013, latest official customs statistics show. The value of exports stood at $49.23bn, of which $47.18bn (96%) came from oil and gas.

The trade surplus was $21.49bn as recently as 2012, but rising imports and falling gas export volumes have seen hydrocarbon income collapse. The latest fall in crude prices – Algeria’s Saharan Blend crude fell to $97.1/B for September and $87.6/B for October compared to the 2013 average of $109.4/B – is set to exacerbate the situation (for the Q1-3 2014 period as a whole prices were only marginally lower than in Q1-3 2013: $107.2/B versus $108.9/B). (CONTINUED - 255 WORDS)